First Federal to acquire mortgage division

Lake City, Fla.-based First Federal Bank is acquiring the mortgage division of Bismarck, N.D.-based BNCCORP. 

The purchase is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, with the BNC platform transitioning to the First Federal brand within a few months of closing. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Following the merger, First Federal will continue to serve BNC National mortgage customers from BNC’s existing offices in Overland Park, Kan.; Moline, Ill.; Bismarck and in the Phoenix market.

BNC National Bank Chair Michael Vekich said the board decided to exit the business “after extensive deliberations and concluding that this change in strategy is in the best long-term interests of the BNC, its shareholders and the communities we serve.”

 “BNC National Bank’s mortgage division team will continue to excel at our core strengths while adding to our product offerings and joining an already amazing First Federal mortgage business,” added Doug Brendel, president of mortgage banking for  $943 million BNC. 

According to First Federal, the deal will offer customers additional technology tools and an expanded product offering. The $3.6 billion bank has offices in Florida and South Carolina. First Federal also serves mortgage, SBA and USDA customers across the Southeast and Midwest. “First Federal will gain a nationwide consumer direct mortgage platform and will extend the benefits of community banking, customer service and stability to the expanded customer base in new markets,” the bank stated in a press release.

Robert Flowers of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Birmingham, Ala., advised First Federal. BNC National Bank was advised by Kaplan, Strangis and Kaplan, P.A., Minneapolis.